|One of the principal aims of a business is to
build up goodwill for its goods or services. This is
done primarily by adopting, using and promoting
suitable trade marks. Properly promoted and
protected, a trade mark can become the single most
valuable asset of a business. Consider, for example,
trade marks such as KERRYGOLD, GUINNESS
and AER LINGUS.
A trade mark is a mark (generally a word or symbol)
used to distinguish the goods or services of one
particular business from those of its competitors.
The right to a trade mark can be acquired by use
under common law and/or by registration. The common
law right can only be invoked against a competitor
in passing-off proceedings which are extremely
expensive and uncertain, essentially because of the
necessity of establishing a reputation based on
usage. On the other hand, the right in a registered
trade mark can be enforced in an infringement action
where it is not necessary to prove reputation.
A trade mark can be protected by way of registration
either at the Irish Patents Office for Ireland, the
Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market for
Europe or internationally in certain designated
countries at the World Intellectual Property
Organisation. Trade marks can also be protected
individually in most countries. In devising and
adopting a trade mark it is important that a
preliminary search be carried out to ensure that the
chosen trade mark has not already been registered by
a third party. For further information concerning
protecting your trade mark it is advisable to
consult a trade mark attorney.
trademark of The Coca-Cola Company represents
arguably the most widely recognized consumer product
on the face of the earth.